Opiods 101

Heroin, Pain Pills, Methadone are all opioids (aka opiates) and it just plain sucks or feels impossible to get off of any of them. Share about stopping, detox, or the desire to stop any of these.

Opiods 101

Postby ratch » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:21 am


The reason we use the term "Opioid" around here rather than "Opiates", is that the term "Opioid" covers all the stuff we love and hate so much (Including opiates). The term Opiate is pretty specific to opium, morphine, and codeine. I am not really into being PC anything, but after being called out about 12 years ago for calling sub a opiate, and looking into the terminology, and realizing I was dead wrong. I would just call start calling it the proper name. You can call your stuff anything you want, but Just a heads-up, if you say "Opioid" it covers pretty much everything.

Addiction vs. Dependency

Addiction is where you mentally need to have it, dependency is where you physically must have it. You can be both, and believe it or not, you can just be either one individually. I would guess that 99% of this board has been both, but there are rare exceptions where someone is just dependent. For instance, someone who never had any prior drug related problems gets into a some pain management situation, they stay on the stuff for months (even years) and then treatment and the pain meds stops, and they go into withdrawal. I would call that dependent. They may not even realize that the wd's are caused by the discontinuation of opioids. To clarify the addiction part, the addict will take 20 pills per 3 hours...cold filter them, or snort them. Rather than the 2 every 4-6 hours as prescribed.

Clean vs. Sober

I am assuming if you are here reading this you have realized the addiction part, and just want to make the softest possible landing you can from the dependency part. Getting clean is easy, staying clean is much harder. If you notice, I always use the term "clean" rather than "sober". The reason I do this, is that the term "sober" is related to AA/NA (12 steps), and the term "clean" means that you aren't using the drug that you wanted to stop anymore. If you are in a 12 step program there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I was in the program for many years, my first meeting was around 1988 (Cocaine) and my last was in 2006. I haven't touched coke in over 27 years, so I am forever grateful for the program. But, I also realized that running a program is not my cup of tea. I don't buy into the addiction is a disease model, I also don't believe in a higher power hanging around to help me stay clean, and I definitely don't think that staying away from every mind altering substance for the rest of my life is a necessity. So when I use the term "clean", it means staying away from the shit you dont want to use anymore. It also means don't be stupid and think that since you quit heroin that smoking crack would be OK. You still have crappy self-control, and if you abused something in the past, chances are you will use that drug as crutch for what you aren't doing anymore. If you always drank alcohol or smoked pot responsibly and infrequently, chances are, you can have a beer or a joint once in a while. ... Like once or twice a month, even a year. You know what you can handle safely, dont let a 75 year old book tell you otherwise, unless you want it to.

If the program works for you, just take what you need here, and leave the rest at the door. The exact same way I did in reverse. I am writing a opioid 101 post, so I will back off the 12 step rhetoric and just say, " let's start getting clean, if you want to get sober... there is a meeting somewhere in a church basement near you."

1/2 life

1/2 life is really important when you are jumping. Drugs like methadone and suboxone (buprenorphine) have extremely long 1/2 lives around 34 hours, and drugs like heroin or morphine (pretty much the same @ 3hrs) 1/2 life means that if you took 10 mg of Vicodin, in roughly 4 hrs, 5mg will still be in your system, and in another 4 hrs 2.5 mg will still be in your system... Plus you have to count all of your recent prior doses as well..that is what we call "stacking"..which is really important to take into consideration when dealing with drugs like methadone and suboxone.. If you were taking 16mg of suboxone a day and waited 24 hours, you roughly still have OVER 16mg in your system, this is why some people use long 1/2 life drugs as a taper method, because your liver actually tapers for you. You may not feel the full effects, but when you quit a drug with a long 1/2 life, it can take days before you feel anything resembling withdrawal. Not so much with heroin or snorting oxy's.

The taper

Before you jump (quit) you need to step down from your party till you puke dose and get down to a manageable dose that will make the softest landing you can handle. When crashing, nothing screams get me some dope louder that shivering, shitting, sweating, and puking all at the same time. If you have the resources and the means, one of the easiest drugs to jump off of is a low dose of hydrocodone.

Say you are slamming 10-15 bags a day, I would switch to Oxy's or anything that works that doesn't go in your veins, you need to give up the romance and ritual of the needle, you need to realize that eidetic memory, and that image of your first time (chasing the dragon) are a bunch of bullshit and its time to replace that image with a coroner zipping you up in a black bag, and a couple of cops knocking on your families door to deliver the news. If you are here, and took the time to read this far.... chances are you have had enough anyhow.

(All opioids)

Replace your dose with something and keep stepping down dosages as fast as you can, until you are eating hydro (hydrocodone) once you can get down to 30mg of hydro a day for 3 days in a row and feel OK... keep reducing dosages till you go 20mg day 1, 15 mg day 2, and 10 mg day 3.... then just jump.

There are dozens of members here that can help with your tapers, a softer landing is the best way to insure that you wont pick up again to stop the pain.

Imodium (loperamide)

Your stomach has opioid receptors and Imodium (loperamide) can fool those receptors because it is an opioid, you DONT want to take mega doses, but taking way above the average dose depending on your body weight, most definitely will take some of the edge off enough to make things a bit more tolerable...and YES it can become addictive so only use it for those first 3 critical days... after that you are just playing with fire. Look up loperamide for opioid withdrawal and follow the most credible advice...but I think any more than 2 mg for every 10 lbs of body weight is overkill. Just remember...you aren't going to get high, it takes up to 3 to 4 hours to work, the liquid works a little faster. Do your own research into this, but its a nice OTC remedy that is fairly safe and cheap as hell.


Clonidine is also a amazing med for helping with withdrawal symptoms, its a blood pressure med, but it works amazingly well .01 to .02mg every 4 hours for the first 4 or 5 days then reduce dosage. Please check with your Dr on this stuff, because if you already have low blood pressure, or have a fucked up heart or some other medical condition this shit could make things worse. But it does work amazingly well.. I have used it myself, and the chills did go away and I was able to sleep....

Final stage

After those acute symptoms go away..and hopefully my little list was able to get you to get through everything pretty easily and no evil babies were crawling around on the ceiling (Trainspotting) anyhow your brain was used to being fucked up all the time and feeling normal (without drugs) wont feel that good for a while. You need to get your brain used to what normal really feels like and its not going to happen overnight. You will also be feeling depressed, get cravings, extended chills, lousy sleep, fucked up stomach, and all kinds of other fun stuff. If you are really a total fuck up, and weak as hell I highly recommend going to some N/A meetings... I would rather you stayed clean and listen to some people try to get you addicted to meetings and shove their higher power down your throat than relapsing again.

If you know the deal, and this isn't your first rodeo. You pretty much know that you dodged a bullet. Lose all those dealer phone numbers, get rid of anyone that is using in or around your life. Change all old habits and patterns. Don't drive past the dealers or the crappy neighborhood on the "other side of the tracks" . Just keep busy, work your ass off, and start saving all that money that you pissed away on drugs.

Staying clean

Depending on how long you were using for, has a lot to do with how long its going to take to feel normal again. Before I went on suboxone, I got clean on my own from Oxy, and I felt awesome in around 30 days... Just keep busy is my #1 advice on staying clean....Being clean can be very boring, and all your problems are 100x worse because you have to deal with them being clean. Dont take up weed or drinking just yet....wait at least 6 months when you have your stuff in order, just dont do stupid. That's how you got here to begin with. Boredom is going to be your #1 enemy...so Is a annoying intolerable mate...If you thought they were bad when you were fucked up, just imagine what a pain in the ass they are going to be when you are clean! Cure your boredom, and you will cure your problem
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Re: Opiods 101

Postby cheeps » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:05 am

Good stuff ratch.....
10 yrs on methadone
Meth free 10/08
Back & Neck surgeries
Oxy free 12/06/14
More surgeries 2016-17
2017 Oxy taper halted
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Re: Opiods 101

Postby subster58 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:08 pm

awesome read Ratch.
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Re: Opiods 101

Postby FuckThis » Sun May 01, 2016 3:38 pm

Excellent post, thank you. Blunt and to the point, sometimes it's what is needed!
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Re: Opiods 101

Postby brexit » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:47 am

Thanks ratch. this aint my first rodeo, love the advice and LOVE this site, I've been floating around on here for a little while now and finally signed up last night. I hope to be around here for a good while.
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Re: Opiods 101

Postby Steph1850 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:39 pm

Amazing post, Ratch! Thanks for writing it. I too struggle with the AA concept but it certainly is the lesser of two evils (meetings vs. not being clean).

Thanks again.
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Re: Opiods 101

Postby nomojo3479 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:37 pm

I have too many friends who were in and out of aa for years who are now dead because of (among other things).. There head was filled with that jails institutions or death bs. Pretty self fulfilling if u ask me.
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